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Old 08-27-2019, 08:54 PM   #1
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1998 Fleetwood American Tradition, has heating and steering problems

I just bought a 1998 Fleetwood American Tradition motorhome, it is diesel. It ran great on the first 2 short trips we took, but then it started to overheat with alarms going off and hard to steer. I would pullover to let it cool and it would only take a few minutes to cool down.....
Changed the filter and fluid and now it is almost impossible to steer, so I couldn't take it far enough to see if it would overheat! Any and all help would be appreciated.

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Old 08-27-2019, 09:34 PM   #2
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Had a '94 Bounder diesel for 12 years and I think what you're talking about might be a broken belt? It has power steering and I believe there is a pump that has to be working for that. It has to travel all the way from the engine up to the steering cylinder assembly.

The overheating might be the very common plugged radiator that can be cleaned and flushed externally to get you on the road...might take several washings.

Which fluid and filter did you change? I can't figure out which might be involved with your issue.

I have a RV repair blog that talks about the issues I had with my Bounder that might be helpful. There's no ads or anything, I do it for fun: Fleetwood Repairs

'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : http://chaos.goblinbox.com
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:58 AM   #3
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If over heating and hard to steer, then you broke a v belt and need to replace it. When it first started to get difficult to steer, the belt was slipping and that's why it over heated.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:26 AM   #4
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new rig! Wish I could help but I'm far from being a mechanic!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by A32Deuce View Post
If over heating and hard to steer, then you broke a v belt and need to replace it. When it first started to get difficult to steer, the belt was slipping and that's why it over heated.
Agree, you need to crawl under and take a look to see if your missing a belt.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:40 AM   #6
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Its unlikely that you have a belt driven hydraulic pump on your diesel engine MH.

The pump would be a direct drive engine mounted pump or a PTO driven pump down near the transmission.

In either case, it may power the steering and engine cooling fan.

Start it up and see if the fan is turning. If not, the issue may be above your pay grade, and you may want to call a mobile mechanic.

Don't keep driving it until it overheats or you will be doing expensive engine work too.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:37 AM   #7
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twinboat is right - the hydraulic pump would not be belt-driven on a Cummins ISC and Spartan chassis. Water pump, alternator and a/c compressor are, though.

The 98 Tradition is a rear radiator and the engine has an oil breather (aka "slobber tube") that makes the radiator a dirt magnet. Overheating due to radiator clog is a very common problem on that vintage of coach. And since the coach is new to him, the state of the coolant is also an unknown.

Gary Brinck
Former owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVs
Home is in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
Summers in Black Mountain, NC
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ems, fleetwood, heat, heating, problem, problems, steering

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